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Thread: Anything I need to know for 1st visit to nursing home? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-18-2013 03:17 AM
erfunhouse
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg1 View Post
I think your ascribing more mystique to something that can be explained by science. When someone is angry or has negative intentions they excrete scent, sweat, hormones etc. Their body language is off, they usually produce vocalizations etc.
A dog picks up on all these things and uses their senses to determine who is friendly, nuetral or a threat.
Someone with mental health issues can produce all the wrong stimuli and generate an unexpected response.

A dog that reacts negatively to a child running with a bat is more likely nervy then anything else. Also, yes I do think dogs know the difference between adults and children. A child running around and screaming is just not the same thing and is also unlikely to excrete the scent, body language and sound an aggressive adult does.

As a nurse who regularly gets dementia patients in my ER (and who has had to restrain the violent and "dangerous" ones) and as a former MP I can emphatically state that that episodes of a dementia patient and those of an angry threatening person are two drastically different presentations. I'd hope any shepherd working in a therapy situation and any therapy dog for that matter could tell them apart. The dementia patient is more akin to a temper tantrum throwing cursing child than they are a true threat.


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12-18-2013 01:22 AM
Chicagocanine I know someone who has had 9 actively working therapy dogs and Most of them are/were Dobermans.
12-13-2013 08:20 AM
ILGHAUS Don't write off GSDs as Therapy Dogs. It is the individual dog that is evaluated as with any breed. One of my GSDs was a wonderful choice for therapy work and he and I enjoyed working as a team for years in this and other activities out in the community.

I recommend that anyone who wishes to get involved with this activity to go with a well-known Therapy Dog group. There the handler will be instructed on the proper manner to go about their visits and have basic questions like those in this thread answered.

Through a group, the individual team will also have a large liability insurance coverage if needed.
12-05-2013 07:10 PM
llombardo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg1 View Post
I bring a small dog because he is enormously confident and social. He also ignores people when they act abnormally or will even try to placate them by being social. Also, if someone does try to hurt him or me and he responds, its likely not going to end too badly..

I expect a well bred GSD to key in on anyone thats a threat. It has nothing to do with stability or training and everything to do with genetics. When someone behaves like they are a threat, smells like they are a threat and sounds like they are a threat then a well bred GSD should and will acknowledge the "threat".

Hence why I wont personally risk even the most social GSD in that sort of environment, things can be great for years until one time they arent and then you and your dog are in for a world of hurt. The genetics are there and can be expressed even in the most social seeming dog under the right circumstances.

That being said Im sure there are some shepherds that will do fine there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg1 View Post
I think your ascribing more mystique to something that can be explained by science. When someone is angry or has negative intentions they excrete scent, sweat, hormones etc. Their body language is off, they usually produce vocalizations etc.
A dog picks up on all these things and uses their senses to determine who is friendly, nuetral or a threat.
Someone with mental health issues can produce all the wrong stimuli and generate an unexpected response.

A dog that reacts negatively to a child running with a bat is more likely nervy then anything else. Also, yes I do think dogs know the difference between adults and children. A child running around and screaming is just not the same thing and is also unlikely to excrete the scent, body language and sound an aggressive adult does.

Fair enough. I went today to drop off the paperwork. I was surprised at how clean the place was. It didn't smell like a hospital and had a warm feel to it. I'll keep my ears and eyes wide open. I won't push anything on him and I'll make sure he is comfortable.
12-05-2013 05:46 PM
Blitzkrieg1 I think your ascribing more mystique to something that can be explained by science. When someone is angry or has negative intentions they excrete scent, sweat, hormones etc. Their body language is off, they usually produce vocalizations etc.
A dog picks up on all these things and uses their senses to determine who is friendly, nuetral or a threat.
Someone with mental health issues can produce all the wrong stimuli and generate an unexpected response.

A dog that reacts negatively to a child running with a bat is more likely nervy then anything else. Also, yes I do think dogs know the difference between adults and children. A child running around and screaming is just not the same thing and is also unlikely to excrete the scent, body language and sound an aggressive adult does.
12-05-2013 05:36 PM
llombardo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg1 View Post
I expect a well bred GSD to key in on anyone thats a threat. It has nothing to do with stability or training and everything to do with genetics. When someone behaves like they are a threat, smells like they are a threat and sounds like they are a threat then a well bred GSD should and will acknowledge the "threat".
I'm on the fence on this one. Because I think there is more then them sensing a threat in general. I think that its a matter of them sensing something more like evil. A kid running with a baseball could be a threat, but do they consider it that way or do they realize its a kid? There are lots of scenarios that can play out and we really can't say what they will consider a threat. A mentally ill person isn't going to have an evil kind of presence, off but not evil, does that play a part in the perception?
12-05-2013 03:55 PM
llombardo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Msmaria View Post
Just wanted to note: if your like me and never been around dementia patients before, its worth going by yourself before you go with your dog. I had no idea that they could be aggressive and scream at you, throw things. I have visited a few senior homes and most were just lonely older people. The nursing facility was very different. If your dog can make it in a nursing facility , they would do great anywhere.
I'm familiar with all of the stuff mentioned above, it is going to be a true test for both of us. If I feel my dog is in any kind of danger we will not go back. I don't want the residents to feed him either, but if they try I will have treats on me to distract.
12-05-2013 03:01 PM
Blitzkrieg1
Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
I think that GSD's are perfect for this kind of work if they are stable. I'm the opposite, I don't think I would ever consider bringing a smaller dog, because I think they in general tend to be more defensive.

I bring a small dog because he is enormously confident and social. He also ignores people when they act abnormally or will even try to placate them by being social. Also, if someone does try to hurt him or me and he responds, its likely not going to end too badly..

I expect a well bred GSD to key in on anyone thats a threat. It has nothing to do with stability or training and everything to do with genetics. When someone behaves like they are a threat, smells like they are a threat and sounds like they are a threat then a well bred GSD should and will acknowledge the "threat".

Hence why I wont personally risk even the most social GSD in that sort of environment, things can be great for years until one time they arent and then you and your dog are in for a world of hurt. The genetics are there and can be expressed even in the most social seeming dog under the right circumstances.

That being said Im sure there are some shepherds that will do fine there.
12-05-2013 02:41 PM
Castlemaid I think the disagreement about which breeds makes for a good or bad therapy dog is moot, because it really depends on the dog! I'm sure there are tons of Golden's out there that would not cut it as a Therapy Dog, while the "Therapy Dog of the Year" award for the organization I was involved with was a GSD (despite what some people here are saying about GSDs).

So look at the dog - not the breed!
12-05-2013 01:54 PM
Blanketback One thing I'll add: there could be other families visiting with their own dogs, so be on the lookout. These other dogs don't have to screened, so they could nasty with yours - that's from my own experience.

It's your call with the treats, but I personally don't like the idea. As mentioned already, the residents will stash all sorts of things to feed your dog, so it's better IMO to set the precedent right off the bat that your dog isn't to be fed anything, ever.

Watch out for walkers! My TD was run over a few times so give a wider berth than you think is necessary.

My TD was a GSD. I guess we all have our own opinions on what breed would make a better TD, but IMO when you're visiting the elderly then you don't want a wiggle butt, you want sedate. As long as the particular dog enjoys physical contact and conversation then you're good to go.
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